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springcleaningExcerpted from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes…

“Let’s face it….no one looks forward to spring cleaning.  The results of those efforts to dust, scrub, vacuum, empty out,. de-clutter and disinfect – definitely.  They process of getting there – nope!

…what makes it better is having help.  Get the whole family involved to streamline spring cleaning and make it go faster – and maybe even have a little fun at the same time.  Here’s how…

FIVE AND UNDER:  Little ones love to help out – if you arm them with age-appropriate tasks to make them part of  the project.  Starting at age three or younger, kids should be able to wipe windows – as far as they can reach, anyway – and baseboards.  Give them a rag and a spray bottle of water – they don’t have to know it’s not a “real” cleaning agent.  “Create supplies that are kid-friendly, like using an ice cream pail for mopping chores or shorten and old mop handle or broom to make it kid-sized.”

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING:  Cleaning out closets, drawers, and cupboards is a big part, and anything that assists you in paring down and tidying up is great.  Task young kids with putting all the giveaway shoes you’ve sorted in a box, or trash bag or boxing up ay errant items on a coat or storage close floor for you to look through later.  Your child may also be able to help and have fun with a mini vacuum that’s battery operated….vacuuming floors in closets that have already been cleaned out and in low spots you’d have to bend down to get to.  Let them get under their bed to clean out anything that has gathered there.  Laundry baskets or boxes for keeping, trashing, washing, and donating will help them get through the process in an organized manner.

ADOLESCENTS:  Depending on their age, they can help with a lot of tasks, from dusting and polishing furniture to cleaning out the refrigerator, to organizing drawers and cabinets.  Give them a hand vacuum the let them go on the couch cushions.  Or challenge them to clean out and reorganize drawers and cabinets throughout the house.

A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can be a great tool to clean fingerprints and other stains off walls, windows, baseboards and appliances.  Gloves will help keep their fingers safe.

Kids this age may also be able to use other “real” cleaning products – but keep them non-toxic, and arm them with a non-product like Simple Green – or make your own cleaning product.

TEENAGERS:  They can handle about any cleaning task – but they may resist.  Offering incentives like extra computer or phone time may help.  Delegate, delegate, delegate….safe jobs to teens.  Whether they clean and organize the garage, shampoo the carpets, or restore order to a linen closet, they’ll take pride in their work IF you let them do their own job.

KEEP EVERYONE MOTIVATED:  No matter who is doing what, make it more tolerable by playing your favorite music (that you can agree on) while you’re cleaning.  Invite an impromptu dance party – add in time challenges or games.  Set a timer and the child who has hung up more clothes or folded more of their giveaway clothes into boxes receives a small prize.

“Spring cleaning is nobody’s idea of a good time, so plan for a reward for your workers,” says Organized Home.  “When the chores are done, schedule a family treat – pizza for  lunch, or a trip to the video store for ay evening film-fest.  You’ll be better results – and sweeten attitudes if there’s a payoff at the end of the day.”

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.


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